Special Events - Toronto fashion week - fall/winter 2002

special shows fall 2002
To say that the Fall/Winter 2002-03 edition of Toronto Fashion Week was aiming to please is an understatement. In addition to a schedule chock full of ready-to-wear designer collections, a smattering of fashion-related themed events offered a mostly entertaining break to the runway procession. Toronto’s fascination with celebrity status and all its trappings was exploited to the max, drawing some big names in the process.

Hoax Couture kicked Monday off to a flying start with the unveiling of their signature Hoax BMW to the fanfare of the auto company’s promo video featuring Madonna. Tuesday saw the City of Toronto’s Awards for Excellence in Fashion. The inimitable David Livingstone came halfway down the runway to accept lifetime achievement accolades for unmatched talents we’ve been aware of for years. You’d think that the most decorated fashion industry professional would be allowed to have an ashtray…..

On Wednesday, the Mohawk Group grabbed centre stage at the Flare Magazine Showcase with their raw take on fashion. The Urban Wear Show & Tell event later on that evening rocked the Liberty Grand with a [not even] standing-room-only show featuring the urban styling of Canadian streetwear giants Parasuco as well as American labels Triple Five Soul and ENYCE. Guest appearances by hometown rap heroes Kardinal Offishall, Maestro Fresh Wes and Ghetto Concept brought the house down.

Dan & Dean (or Dean &Dan, I can’t tell them apart), expatriated twin whose
label D-Squared has made them the toast of Milan, made their prodigal son homecoming on Thursday with a fall 2002 video presentation. Referring to the palpable disappointment in the duo’s decision not to stage a live Toronto show, Doug Mandel of Kamkyl hints that “maybe Canada isn’t ready for the runway video format that has become an acceptable way of showing in Italy.”

Filmmakers played an interesting role in Toronto Fashion Week fall 2002. Bruce McDonald (the Canadian director easily spotted for his cowboy hat) was seen scurrying around with a camera at Crystal Siemens’ show for How She Makes a Dress, a film project on the designer. On Friday, an Yves St. Laurent farewell reception was the occasion for David Teboul to announce his film project about the legendary couture house.

The last event of the week, L’Oreal Professionnel Rocks the Runway was as boring a fluff piece as this article is. Many in the audience paid forty bucks a pop to watch Gemini award nominees traipse by unnoticeably between cheesy fencing acts and sub-par dance routines in an over-all bad production. The shame is that the fashions in the show were stellar - style=color:#ab6566Kamkyl, Pat McDonagh, Thien Le, David Dixon and others. Canadian fashion is a strong entity that doesn’t need bells and whistles to make it palatable. While there is much to be said for theatrical presentations that set the right tone for a collection, such as with Ula Zukowska and Janet T.Planet, the notion of fashion as lifestyle should never eclipse the fact of fashion as clothing. Maybe keeping the collections and the parties separate is a way to prevent this from happening.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer